calendar Stories June 21

iCloud Calendar spam has been a problem for many users since 2016 and earlier, and Apple has made a handful of changes and improvements to remedy the situation. Despite Apple’s best efforts, however, the problem continues to affect iCloud users, and it’s once again receiving widespread attention.

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calendar Stories March 12, 2018

In general, technology gets smarter over time. New features are added that improve the functionality, or changes are made that allow a device or app to do the same thing in smarter ways.

But every now and then, a new feature can effectively end up making an app dumber – and Apple’s Calendar app is guilty of this …

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calendar Stories March 30, 2017

IFTTT iOS Calendar Support

IFTTT, a popular automation tool that connects across services and devices, has announced new updates to their service today specifically for iOS. The updates today include support for both the iOS Calendar and App Store.

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calendar Stories February 1, 2017

fantastical-sticker-pack

Fantastical has a new update out today for iPhone and iPad that delivers new iOS 10 features and enhancements plus a brand new iMessage sticker pack for the Messages app. Aside from fun and cute, Fantastical’s sticker pack is actually useful for communicating schedule-related messages.

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calendar Stories April 13, 2016

marathon

I don’t classify myself as an Apple fanboy. I mostly prefer Apple products over competing ones, and I do find life is easier if I allow myself to be assimilated by a single ecosystem, but my opinion pieces are variously critical and supportive of Apple – and I’m certainly not blind to cool tech offered by Apple competitors.

I was particularly impressed by a feature Google released this morning: automatically and intelligently finding time in your calendar to work on your personal goals.

Most of us these days lead busy lives with packed schedules, and sometimes it can feel hard enough just keeping up with the essentials of work, family and those boring but essential chores – from clearing out the gutters to filing tax returns. When we do get some downtime, it’s all too easy to fill it with Facebook, Netflix and other time-snaffling activities.

This means those personal goals we optimistically come up with in the first enthusiastic days of welcoming in the new year – like writing a novel (gratuitous plug), learning a new language, running a marathon, or practicing a musical instrument – all too often get neglected …

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calendar Stories April 1, 2016

Apple’s iCloud services experiencing downtime for some users

Users are reporting downtime for some of Apple’s iCloud services this afternoon including problems logging in to iCloud and syncing data to apps that access the cloud services for calendars, mail and more.

calendar Stories November 16, 2015

Waze 3D Touch

Last month the popular Waze navigation app on iPhone got a major update with a new design and improvements to reporting traffic issues and sharing arrival times with others. Now Waze is out with its next new version which brings 3D Touch shortcuts to the Home screen icon for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users. Firmly press on the updated icon to quickly look up an address, share your location with other users, or get directions to your work or home address from your current location. Waze also says the update includes the usual bug fixes and improvements.

Fantastical already features 3D Touch shortcuts from its Home screen icon, and today the calendar and reminders app is adding more 3D Touch features for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users… expand full story

calendar Stories October 28, 2015

Sunrise app officially sunsetted as Outlook steals its thunder

When Microsoft purchased Sunrise, things didn’t look good for the popular iOS calendar app. There were fears Microsoft would take its talent and shut the app down. Fears — it seems — that were completely justified. Sunrise announced in a blog post today that the app will no longer receive any updates. If you are an avid user of Sunrise (like me), you’ll now need to go hunting for a new calendar app if you expect new features.

As the entire team is completely focused on the Outlook for iOS and Android apps, we won’t be updating the Sunrise apps anymore. We won’t lie, it’s tough for us to leave behind the apps we’ve been working on so passionately for the past years.

Sunrise’s technology and expertise haven’t completely vanished, however. Microsoft and Sunrise were both keen to let us know that a lot of the stuff that made Sunrise great has made its way in to the new Outlook app for iOS. On the Outlook blog you’ll see exactly what the two companies have been working on over the past few weeks and months.

The Outlook app for iOS has a brand new look and features new navigation for email attachments, while the ‘Calendar’ navigation basically looks like some of the Sunrise calendar was absorbed in to the app. And Microsoft will continue to absorb all of Sunrise until nothing’s left, and the calendar app can be terminated:

The Sunrise team is now officially a part of the broader Outlook product team, bringing a fresh approach to calendaring and combining it with Microsoft’s deep expertise in both email and calendar. Better Outlook calendaring gives you more ability to manage your personal and professional life from a single, powerful app. Over the coming months, you’ll see richer calendar experiences come to Outlook from Sunrise—including Interesting Calendars and connections to your favorite apps and services. You will also see improvements to Outlook’s ability to create meetings while on the go and handle meetings across time zones. All of this means Outlook will eventually replace the current Sunrise app. We will leave Sunrise in market until its features are fully integrated into Outlook, the exact timing of which we will communicate in advance.

It’s a shame to see Sunrise vanish from the app scene, but if Outlook for iOS becomes a fantastic email and calendar app, those of us who used Sunrise may not miss it for long.

calendar Stories October 7, 2015

Fantastical 3D TouchFantastical 2.5 is out now with new multitasking features for iOS 9 on iPad, a 3D Touch app icon on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a native Apple Watch app on watchOS 2 with its own watch face complication, and much more. Both the iPad and iPhone plus Apple Watch updates are available for free for current Fantastical 2 customers. The new versions come just two weeks after Split View in Fantastical hit the Mac with OS X El Capitan. See the new features in action below: expand full story

calendar Stories September 24, 2015

Microsoft-Invite-app

Today Microsoft is launching a new app called ‘Invite’ that makes scheduling meetings with others easier. The app is arriving first for iPhone and iPad users in the US and Canada with more platforms and locations to follow. expand full story

calendar Stories July 29, 2015

Following Fantastical’s recent debut on the Apple Watch, which includes the full iCloud Reminders experience and more, Flexibits is delivering a neat new drafts feature to the intelligent calendar app and newly added support for another language. expand full story

calendar Stories June 25, 2015

Apple’s iCloud Calendar + Reminders web apps are currently down [U: Fixed for some]

[Update: The issues seem to be resolved around 12:00 PM EST.]

[Update 2x: Apple has also acknowledged the outage on its system status page noting that it began last night and may still be ongoing.]

No word on Apple’s official iCloud system status page, but the Calendar and Reminders web apps on iCloud.com are currently down as several readers have pointed out. We’ve tested it here and the above error was returned. Apple’s iMessage service suffered a similar outage earlier this week with users reporting widespread downtime. Other iCloud web apps appear to be working properly. We’ll keep an eye on the outage and update if anything changes, but if you’re seeing the outage it’s not just you.

calendar Stories June 3, 2015

When Apple Watch and Watch OS 1.0 shipped in April, the definite omission of an Apple Reminders app on the platform was particularly surprising to me. The Apple Watch User Guide even highlights the app’s absence:

There’s no Reminders app on Apple Watch, but Apple Watch notifies you of reminders you create in the Reminders app on your iPhone—and on any other iOS device or Mac that’s signed in using your Apple ID. Also, you can create reminders using Siri on Apple Watch.

Creating and responding to reminders is fine, but my girlfriend and I use a shared iCloud Reminders list for our grocery list, and being able to glance at the watch as you walk through the supermarket without pulling out the iPhone is an ideal use case for Apple Watch. Fortunately, Flexibits has developed a new version of its Fantastical app for iPhone that brings the full Reminders experience to Apple Watch, fulfilling an important use case for the watch I had in mind before it arrived.

Fantastical for Apple Watch also brings the excellent streamlined calendar list view to the watch, complete with the app’s easy-to-use natural language parsing feature that sets it apart from Apple’s own calendar app… expand full story

calendar Stories May 29, 2015

Flexibits announces upcoming Fantastical for Apple Watch app

Flexibits, makers of Fantastical 2, just announced an upcoming version of the super useful calendar app coming to the Apple Watch. Included in the teaser is the above preview of Fantastical made for the Apple Watch. We’ll have a full hands-on review of the new app when it launches so stay posted for that. In the meantime, check out our review of the recently released Fantastical 2 for Mac, which takes the natural language parsing calendar from a menu bar app to a full fledged calendar with a complete Yosemite redesign. You can grab Fantastical 2 for iPhone from the App Store for $4.99 to be ready for the Apple Watch update.

calendar Stories May 28, 2015

Moleskin calendar As someone who does everything electronically, I’m always slightly bemused by people who still use pen and paper – but there is something about Moleskine notebooks that does occasionally make me wonder just a little if I’m missing out. The company today appears to be targeting people like me, with an app that brings the stylish, minimalist aesthetics of the notebooks to a new iPhone and Apple Watch app.

Moleskine Timepage aims to integrate your iCloud, Google and Microsoft Exchange calendars with contacts, maps and weather. For appointments elsewhere, it will display a map of the location, show you the travel time by car, public transit, cycling or walking – and show what the weather will be like when you get there …  expand full story

calendar Stories May 27, 2015

Spotlight

After several years of quiet development, Apple is readying a major new iOS initiative codenamed “Proactive,” which will leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to create a viable competitor to Google Now for Android devices. Like Google Now, Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns, but will respect the user’s privacy preferences, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans.

As an evolution of iOS’s Spotlight search feature, Proactive is the fruit of a long-term initiative that involved the acquisition of small app developers, and integration of core iOS apps. It will also work with Apple’s Maps application to display personally relevant points of interest using an augmented reality interface, and integrate with a third-party Siri API codenamed “Breadcrumbs”…

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calendar Stories May 14, 2015

Sunrise Calendar on iOS adds new “Meet” keyboard to quickly schedule meetings

Sunrise, the company behind the popular Mac and iOS calendar apps, today launched a new feature called Meet. Meet is not integrated how might expect, though. It’s actually a keyboard designed by Sunrise for quickly scheduling one-to-one meetings.

calendar Stories May 4, 2015

Timeful

Google today announced that it’s acquiring Timeful Inc, the company behind the Timeful app that offers a central location for time management, calendar functions, to-do list and scheduling features. expand full story

calendar Stories March 25, 2015

Fantastical 2 Mac 1

Fantastical’s ability to parse natural language input and create detailed appointment entries on your calendar has always been the primary reason to use it instead of or in addition to Apple’s own Calendar app on the Mac. Apple Calendar has picked up some language parsing smarts in recent updates, too, but it still doesn’t match Fantastical’s control and real-time appointment preview.

Still, I say in addition to because Fantastical for Mac has lived in the menu bar next to your clock, WiFi status, and other utilities where you can quickly access it for reference or adding an appointment from anywhere in the OS. The menu bar app includes a compact month view calendar above a streamlined, scrollable list view of appointments and reminders, but sometimes it’s nice to stretch out and view your schedule in a different context.

So when Fantastical first debuted on iPad almost a year ago putting the efficient list view next to a larger full calendar, I wrote optimistically that “the iPad’s app design could spill over into a future version of the Mac app (maybe as a dock app rather than a menu bar app).”

What Fantastical 2 for Mac actually became is even better: the same menu bar calendar users know and love (but new and improved!), and a full-sized calendar app with an optional dock icon. Both have been designed with the aesthetics of OS X Yosemite in mind and loads of under-the-hood features and improvements including the ability to actually change which calendars you see based on your location. expand full story

calendar Stories February 4, 2015

Microsoft has acquired the Sunrise calendar application in a deal worth over $100 million, a report revealed today. The buyout may be the next step in the company’s plans to revamp its mobile offerings, which started with the release of the new Outlook email app—also based on acquired software—last month.

Like Acompli, Sunrise works with a variety of services, not just Microsoft’s. Those services include Google’s calendar service, iCloud calendars, and, of course, Exchange. It also had built-in support for reminders that sync along with the calendars.

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calendar Stories January 19, 2015

Screenshots show Google’s upcoming Calendar iPhone app w/ Gmail, Photos, & Maps integration

It appears that Google could soon release its promised redesigned Calendar app for iPhone after first making the announcement and releasing the app for Android last November. The Next Web this morning shared a handful of leaked screenshots that provide a first look at Google Calendar for iOS, including info cards that indicate Gmail, Photos and Maps integration will be key features of the app.

calendar Stories November 26, 2014

Flexibits Black Friday sale goes live early: up to 65% off Fantastical for iOS & Mac, more

Flexibits, makers of Fantastical for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, just kicked off their huge Black Friday holiday sale early with savings up to 65% off the regular price of their apps.

If you haven’t already tried Fantastical, it’s my favorite calendar replacement app–especially for iPhone–with natural language input and a clear list view for finding your appointments easily. Both the iPhone and iPad versions feature Today view widgets, extensions, and interactive notifications for iOS 8 users, and the Mac app is a simple menu bar app for accessing from anywhere.

Here are the deals:

Fantastical for iPhone: $4.99 $1.99 (60% off)

Fantastical for iPad: $14.99 $4.99 (65% off and lowest price yet)

Fantastical for Mac: $19.99 $9.99 (50% off)

In addition to discounting Fantastical for each platform, Flexibits is also taking half off its Chatology app which helps you archive and search messages on your Mac. Available from Flexibits.com, the $19.99 app is on sale for $9.99 for the holidays. For more deals and savings, stay tuned to 9to5Toys for all the best Black Friday deals.

 

calendar Stories October 22, 2014

Fantastical for iPhone and iPad, the alternative calendar and Reminders app from Flexibits, received a major feature update today for iOS 8 users. If you’re unfamiliar with Fantastical, the ability to turn text input like “Dinner with Tim tomorrow night at 7pm” into a calendar appointment without fiddling with menus and dials is it’s killer feature.

Fantastical for iPhone received an update last month which optimized the user interface for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, and today’s new version adds a Today view widget in Notification Center, an app extension for use in other apps, and interactive notifications for responding to alerts without even opening the app. Check out the new features in the latest version of Fantastical for iPhone and iPad below. expand full story

calendar Stories September 18, 2014

Flexibits says iOS 8 features coming soon to Fantastical following iPhone 6 update

With iOS 8 launching yesterday and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hitting stores and delivering to customers tomorrow, a number of apps have already begun shipping updates to take advantage of the new screen sizes and software features. With several customers asking where the update for Fantastical 2 on iOS 8 was, Flexibits today shared in a blog post its plans for the iPhones 6 and new version of iOS.

The makers of the smart calendar app note that the current version of Fantastical 2 has already been released with iOS 8 support and that a version of Fantastical 2 optimized for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has today been submitted so users of the new device won’t have to wait long for the new version. More importantly, a version introducing a Notification Center widget and system extension will be “coming in the next few weeks.”

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